Our Emotional Senate?
So financial reform certainly beats health care reform in terms of drama and action Via Open Left:
2. Susan Collins and Ben Nelson on board, but progressives blocking passage
Republican Susan Collins, and uber-ConservaDem Ben Nelson came out in favor of cloture today.
If all other Democrats held together, this would mean there are enough votes for cloture to succeed. However, many progressives–Cantwell (reinstating Glass–Steagal), Dorgan (ending naked credit default swaps), Harkin (capping ATM fees at $0.50), Merkley (reinstating Volcker rule), Levin (same as Merkley) and others–remain angry that their strengthening amendments have not received votes, and as such are not promising to support cloture. In fact, Cantwell just said she does not support cloture, as of right now.
Progressive anger over this turned into chaos–or as close as the Senate ever gets to chaos–on the floor last night. Tom Harkin openly angry at Harry Reid, Senators huddled every which way to strategize, strange procedural moves were employed (see bullet point below for the prime example), and more. Ryan Grim and David Dayen have good rundowns of the events.
Everything related to HRC took forever and never seemed to include any surprises on either the House and Senate floor. Pretty much every vote turned out as predicted, the changes happened in the in between periods. The little bits of drama were in the various of periods of wringing out votes. Don’t know if all the drama will make for a better bill, but it’s a lot more interesting then the endless debates about pulling together. Maybe it’s just the absence of Joe Lieberman’s oxygen depleting presence as a central figure in the debate.